Telling Your Brand Story through Facebook Timeline

Author: Deidre Drewes

The latest update to Facebook’s layout was met with a mixture of emotions by both brands and users. As of March 30, all brand pages and user pages were upgraded to Facebook Timeline (with a few scragglers left behind). Whether you love or hate the Facebook’s new aesthetics, there are some exciting ways that companies can tell their story through Timeline’s features.

Putting Your Best Face Forward through Cover Photo

The Facebook cover photo has opened up the customization capabilities of fan pages, creating a whole new opportunity for brand storytelling. If you sell a product, use this space to show your inventory in action. If you are a service provider, show your team in action. Whatever you do, just don’t leave this space empty! Facebook has given you 850×315 pixels to represent your company—take advantage of it.

Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, shares their fan photo of the week in their cover photo. When users visit the fan page, they are greeted with a warm reminder that people love Dunkin’ across the globe. This week’s Dunkin’ Donuts fan photo came from Rosie in Seoul, South Korea:

The NFL opted to show highlights from the 2012 football season on the cover photo, with a central focus on Eli Manning and the Giants Super Bowl win. Among the cover photo are images of Tim Tebow ‘Tebowing’ and Peyton Manning’s historical signing with the Denver Broncos after 15 years playing for the Colts.

Brands can use cover photos in a number of ways. Graphic design companies can showcase clever illustrations in the space while restaurants can share images of cuisine. Dick’s Sporting Goods shares pictures of the employees with a history of the person’s love of sports. This week, team sports sales associate Steve Kraynik is featured. Steve works at the Cranberry Square store in Pennsylvania and is a lacrosse player himself. By sharing this story, Dick’s is reinforcing to its fans that their employees are just as passionate about sports as the customers they serve.

Rome wasn’t built in a day…and neither was your brand

With the milestones feature in Facebook Timeline, brands can tell their entire story from day one. White Castle, for example, has highlighted the important moments in their company history from their founding in 1921 up until today. Of these historical moments, the brand recognizes advancement of women’s rights with the inclusion of women in the White Castle workforce in 1943.

Some brands have taken the timeline a step farther by telling the history of their industry. Music app Spotify decided to chronicle the history of music on their Timeline dating back to music theory in the year 1001 A.D.

It is important for companies to express to stakeholders where they have been, where they are and where they are headed. A company’s social presence on Facebook Timeline is an opportunity to communicate important brand messages and company values to stakeholders.

Facebook Tabs: Creating Your Call to Action

One drawback of Facebook Timeline is that brand pages can no longer designate a custom landing page for first-time visitors. On the plus side, pages now allow for button customization for individual tabs. Companies can very easily use this opportunity to create a call to action for promotions, giveaways and other exciting incentives. Quick Chek—a regional gas station franchise founded in New Jersey—uses tab customization to increase mailing list subscribers and promote coupons to their stores.

What are some creative ways that you have seen brands using the new Facebook Timeline layout?

Deidre Drewes is the Interactive Culture Cultivator at DragonSearch, an online marketing agency based in New York City. A journalist by degree and a marketer by mindset, Deidre spends her days following the latest trends in social media. You can find her on Twitter as @DeidreDoom.

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